Anonymous

Anonymous Image
Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 43 Critics What's this?

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6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds ranging from Mark Twain and Charles Dickens to Henry James and Sigmund Freud, namely: who was the author of the plays credited to WilliamSet in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds ranging from Mark Twain and Charles Dickens to Henry James and Sigmund Freud, namely: who was the author of the plays credited to William Shakespeare? Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when cloak-and-dagger political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles hungry for the power of the throne were exposed in the most unlikely of places: the London stage. (Sony Pictures)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 43
  2. Negative: 7 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 26, 2011
    88
    Because of the ingenious screenplay by John Orloff, precise direction by Roland Emmerich and the casting of memorable British actors, you can walk into the theater as a blank slate, follow and enjoy the story, and leave convinced - if of nothing else - that Shakespeare was a figure of compelling interest.
  2. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Nov 3, 2011
    75
    Anonymous is fun – if you take the anti-Shakespearean tale as events set in an unreal, alternate universe.
  3. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Oct 27, 2011
    70
    William Shakespeare - whoever he was - I think would probably be at least a little amused by Anonymous. For amusing it is - along with bawdy, brazen, politically outrageous, plausible enough and occasionally graced with something close to Shakespearean cleverness in an absurdist sort of way.
  4. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Oct 27, 2011
    50
    Emmerich has turned his attention to the past. He and screenwriter John Orloff have embraced a kitchen sink's worth of 20th-century conspiracy theories about the provenance of Shakespeare's plays, each wilder than the last. Oliver Stone's "JFK" looks reasonable compared to this.
  5. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Oct 27, 2011
    50
    So if you don't mind, I'll just go back to believing that someone named Shakespeare (whoever he was) wrote Shakespeare's works. And I'll just go back to regarding them with awe.
  6. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Oct 26, 2011
    42
    Thumpingly silly yet self-serious period-piece what-if.
  7. Reviewed by: Judith Newmark
    Nov 6, 2011
    25
    The movie inspired theater critic Judith Newmark to write a sonnet in response.

See all 43 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 17
  2. Negative: 5 out of 17
  1. Jan 26, 2012
    9
    Such venom, such wailing and gnashing of teeth, the cheek of the director spinning a yarn about the Bard. You might have thought he suggestedSuch venom, such wailing and gnashing of teeth, the cheek of the director spinning a yarn about the Bard. You might have thought he suggested Jesus was an alien. Good grief, it's entertainment folks. It's actually a wonderful film, pulsing with Elizabethan life. Great acting, funny, wild, compelling and gripping. So it's not exactly true. It's NOT a documentary. One of my favorites of 2011. I'm appalled so many critics slammed it. Expand
  2. Nov 10, 2011
    8
    You can't go in to this movie expecting historical fact it must be taken a simply a story and a good exciting story it is. the movie has anYou can't go in to this movie expecting historical fact it must be taken a simply a story and a good exciting story it is. the movie has an exceptional screenplay and stylistic and appropriate direction from Roland Emmerich. Expand
  3. Feb 18, 2016
    8
    It may be one of the signs of the apocalypse, but thanks to a well-written screenplay, spot-on performances, and a fantastic productionIt may be one of the signs of the apocalypse, but thanks to a well-written screenplay, spot-on performances, and a fantastic production design, Emmerich has finally made a great film.

    Watch here for free http://www.watchfree.to/watch-26087d-Anonymous-movie-online-free-putlocker.html
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  4. Mar 10, 2012
    6
    Intrigue, deception and a supposed truth, make this movie surprise, that's the word. Fascinated with spectacular art direction, makeup and wardrobe...
  5. Nov 11, 2011
    5
    This was, perhaps, the most frustratingly confusing movie I've ever watched. Good luck trying to keep track of who's who as the screenplayThis was, perhaps, the most frustratingly confusing movie I've ever watched. Good luck trying to keep track of who's who as the screenplay constantly bounces around through time. Some of the actors even look alike which added to the confusion. The acting, costumes, and cinematography is sublime. This could have been up there with the great "Amedeus" if the storytelling was improved. There is a scene towards the end that attempts to sum up everything you watched to that point, but it is too late and still doesn't explain everything. After the movie my friend and I were both confused. The cast of characters is large and the constant time travel ruins it. I may attempt to watch the film again on blu-ray when it is released so I can watch at my own pace and try to figure it all out. Movies aren't very fun when you still don't know who all the characters are halfway through the film. Expand
  6. Nov 11, 2011
    3
    A wonderful looking film with a wonderful cast. But the screenplay--which attempts to jump about in space and time in a TarantinoesqueA wonderful looking film with a wonderful cast. But the screenplay--which attempts to jump about in space and time in a Tarantinoesque fashion--never works. And I mean that in almost every possible way. I don't remember a movie in recent memory so devoid of authentic dramatic tension. At points you can almost see Orloff and Emmerich checking off bullet points from their lists of points that the film is trying to demonstrate. Ignoring the Hick versus the Literate Earl debate for the moment, the writer the film really slanders and does a disservice to is Ben Jonson. According to the film Ben Jonson (and Kit Marlowe, Dekker, and Nash--all of Shakespeare's brilliant contemporaries) can't write a syllable that compares to Shakespeare. Certainly untrue as anyone who's read any Elizabethan and Jacobean poetry or drama knows. In fact, there are so many good dramatists and poets during Shakespeare's day the question shouldn't be Why is Shakespeare so great? Rather, it should be how did such an age produce and nurture so many good poets and playwrights?

    Finally, the figure of Oxford is meant to be somewhat tragic but the film's silly conceits and stereotypes run roughshod over our sympathy for him The films trots out the same hackneyed ideas about writers that have been around since the beginning of drama: the great writer suffers in isolation, is unappreciated by all around him, and must be willing to sacrifice all to his art. Uh-huh. And Mozart wrote his symphonies on a billiard table in the midst of a billiard match. But a fine film from a technical angle...
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  7. Nov 8, 2011
    0
    The premise itself is a disgrace but at least the movie could have been shot and made competently. I don't think they did the premise justice,The premise itself is a disgrace but at least the movie could have been shot and made competently. I don't think they did the premise justice, stressing again that I find the premise classist and inaccurate. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews

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